Re: Abortion in Mexico City

The Christian Science Monitor - Letter to the Editor |

Regarding the April 23 article on abortion in Mexico City: In Mexico, and elsewhere, unsafe abortion is a cause and consequence of poverty. Intimately linked to gender inequality, it is a serious public health issue that perpetuates social injustice.

In 2006 an estimated 19 million women and girls worldwide, faced with unintended pregnancies, experienced the harmful consequences of unsafe abortion. Each year, some 70,000 of these women and girls die, and hundreds of thousands of others are left with debilitating and frequently lifelong injuries as a result. More than 96 percent of these women come from the world's poorest nations.

Criminalizing and restricting abortion does not reduce its incidence; rather, it forces women to seek risky procedures that endanger their lives. It is the poorest women who suffer from these laws.

Mexico's move marks a step in the right direction, but more needs to be done throughout the Western hemisphere to protect a woman's right to choose and access safe abortion.

Carmen Barroso

Regional Director, International Planned Parenthood Federation, Western Hemisphere Region

New York

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